The assumption of the necessity of the via negativa turns failure -
and with it the acceptance of its originally failing - from that which may
occasion mourning to what will give rise to the most profound melancholy.
The latter because the loss will have emerged as original. Posited as
original its work will be taken as the transgression of an original
promise. A promise which from the beginning was already betrayed.
Naturalising arising with forgetting links promise and myth.
The original promise is not the work of myth. It is the myth itself
whose work is the activity of ritual.
Here another way may have arisen. It will not arise by accepting the
mythic status of this original and thus the original loss at the origin.
Such an origin may be mythic, its significance however lies in its being
held at the present. Perhaps it is a myth that works within the actuality
of much contemporary philosophical thinking. As such it would be a myth
with its own activity; its own specific ritual. And yet the language of
myth and ritual while exercising a certain attraction and laying hold
thereby to the sedulous will obviate the force of the present; the force of
its present time.
Emphasising the impossible, accepting it as that which has occurred
will have necessitated accepting - an acceptation tout court - an
original possibility. When what is given cannot be continued because it has
become impossible such a move stills the possibility of repetition and
accepts - accepts by assuming - the original project as an original and
therefore also as a unified projection. Again the movement of enacting is
dismissed and thus the present unaccepted even though what the latter
presents and the former allows endure as effective.
There will have to be a different "impossible". It must be allowed
another possibility. The question that endures is how that process is to be
thought? The initial part of any answer is that it is a thinking that takes
place at the present.
The present arises as that which will come to insist. The present comes
to insist by its being what will already have insisted. Here, in allowing
this insistence, there is the possibility of both a philosophy of action
and a philosophy of historical time. Presented as such they would comprise,
in part, a philosophy of the present.
The locus of nihilism is given by the present. Nihilism is either
maintained or subdued within the varying responses to the present's
presence. It will be joined, ineliminably, to insistence. Furthermore with
either the denial of insistence, the denial of the present's force, or with
the connection being forgotten, what would amount to the disavowal of the
present, what then appears as that which conditions thinking's presentation
will be, once again, failure and negation. The continual work of the
negative will have acquired a positive content because it will be taken as
the only possibility. There will be, in addition, the assumption of its own
What is harboured within the difficulty of formulating the work of the
negative is its being done without. This is the direct challenge of the
negative. There are two responses. The first will lie with repetition, with
the possibility that repetition can operate beyond the dominance of the
Same, allowing within the scope of that work a repetition in which
difference figures. The second response will stem from the acknowledged
complexity of work.
In the impossibility of its being there originally, the work of the
negative is only naturalised in the effacing of the process that gives rise
to it. The via negativa can only occur after the event. In being given
priority it may always be taken - mis-taken - as the event.
Countering nihilism must involve more than a simple affirmation. The
determinations at work within its coming to exercise a hold must also be
implicated. Nihilism forms part of the present by its working to maintain,
in part, conflict at the present; maintaining conflict within a setting to
which it remains indifferent. While conflict will endure - an endurance
that will allow conflict's own complexity - its movement will demand a
different account. Conflict will demand a different setting.
"Countering" raises the problem of the language of opposition; the
thought of the other possibility. It will have to be a language and a
thinking other than that of a straightforward op-position. What counts as a
language - a regional language - may have to change with the problem's
attempted resolution. Thinking will comes to be rearticulated in terms of
what is possible at the present. It will be here that because of the
possible dominance of divergence over unity the present will emerge as a
complex site. In being complex it will attest, once again, to the insistent
force of conflict.
There will be a commitment to the primordial but it will pertain to
process and therefore to a movement - movements - with effects/affects. It
will be process that enables the cohabitation of the finite and the
infinite. A cohabitation precluding the power of synthesis but which in its
ceaseless working and ending of generality serves to connect - one possible
connection amongst many - time and speed.
The initial difficulty , though it will be one with far greater
extension, is how the place and the practice of recognition - the
recognition of this generative process - is to be understood? Again, the
question is far from simple since what is being asked pertains to another,
and still more difficult interconnection. Here it will involve primordial
presence, propriety and truth. It should not be thought that what is at
issue here stems from the presence of differing values. What must be taken
on is the presence of this difference at the present. Again time insists.
There is, with this difficult interconnection, the necessary presumption
of another history. A rewriting of the present in which it is allowed a
presence that works beyond the hold of the negative; in which what is given
is not taken as attesting to the necessity of impossibility. How is this
possibility, one which if it is followed brings with it an inescapable
necessity, to avoid the charges of either naivety or a forced utopian
The force of this question cannot be denied. What it brings to the fore
is the problem of justification. How can the question - By what right
......? - be answered here? The only response is to continue working on the
question; the continuity of its being questioned. Justification will become
this outside possibility. Becoming it by a return which signals the
effective presence of the movement of constitution in which the question is
held up - thus also held over - as what it is. It will be the question that
is given by its incorporating the demands to which it gives rise; again the
constitution of the question as a question.
Time will mark out another possibility. Taking on the centrality of
time will give rise to a repositioning of naivety and the utopian; their
"original" place fraying within the present in which they are being worked
through. With this process the former will have become the belief in the
new beyond all mediation; provisionally the time of wishing. While what was
first present as the utopian vision will come to be repositioned as the
fusing of naivety and the future. Both of these reworkings will be
positioned with the present as part of its own constitution.
What arises therefore is an-other time and thus the abeyance of the
naive and the utopian. With it what also arises is an-other possibility for
the new and therefore a different determination of the future. In the most
straightforward sense this is the act of redemption.
Working away and working through will be that which opens up what was
already possible. In allowing this opening they signal the other
possibility. With them destruction will take on an-other life.
The other destruction would be one in which ending and totality taken as
either original or complete no longer pertained because they came to be
recognised as moments - affects/effects - of the process in which they are
held. The primordality of a generative process will work away at the
intermingling of failure and negation. And yet the work of that process
cannot be inexorable the break within movement, the moment that allows
the simple repetition of the Same to come undone, is neither negation nor
metaphysical destruction, but an-other repetition. A repetition in which
what occurs takes place again for the first time. This other repetition
will allow the new to be given with the present, as part of it.
With each location - each location within and as part of the present -
the present becomes the locus of different intensities and thus of
different speeds. It is implicated therefore in its own complexity.
Giving the future a different place will mean locating its possibility
as a condition of the present. Held at the present, held as being part of
the present's time, by being part of that which works to maintain the
present as incomplete, it emerges as hope.
Here hope is the consequence of the future's reincorporation into the
present. It is not that which comes, as a mysterious other, it is there as
that possibility in the present which may at any time be a mystery. As a
possibility at the present hope is also, in part, constitutive of the
Hope works, once more, to yield present intensity.